As the recent LDS essay largely ignored the facsimiles below is an actual Egyptian translation compared to Joseph Smith’s interpretation:
The LDS Church just released an essay trying to answers questions regarding the legitimacy of the Book of Abraham. The essay avoids some major issues (such as the Facsimiles) and even contradicts itself and Joseph Smith, as can be seen from this table (take from this original post):
Greg Trimble gave a list of 10 reasons he believed the Book of Mormon was not a fraud. This is my personal response:
1. Could an uneducated boy come up with 531 pages of ancient scripture on his own that was historically accurate and prophetic in nature?
This presumes a) that Joseph was uneducated, b) that the Book of Mormon was ancient scripture, c) that it was historically accurate, and d) that it is prophetic.
Joseph Smith was 23 when he wrote the Book of Mormon. Letters he wrote at the time show he was well educated, he had been a member of the local debate club, two of his family had been teachers (and so was Oliver Cowdery). According to his mother he had been rehearsing aspects of the Book for years, and parts of it are remarkably similar to his father’s dreams, parts of the Bible and books like “The Late War” and “A View of the Hebrews”.
The Book of Mormon certainly claims to be ancient scripture but it is full of uniquely modern phraseology. There is no independent ancient American historian or archeologist who would consider any of the Book of Mormon to be historical in any sense. It is only accurately prophetic in events that happened before Joseph Smith wrote the Book of Mormon, after that it is very vague. Continue reading